WAUWATOSA, Wis. — The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday that the 18-year-old student pilot who crashed a small plane into a Wauwatosa yard on Thursday has died.
The ME identified him as Daniel Perelman, 18 years old of Brookfield.
At the scene of the crash, first responders removed Perelman from the small plane and brought him to the hospital in critical condition. He suffered from severe head trauma, among other injuries.
Perelman took off from Timmerman Airport, made one pass, landed, took off, and then radioed in that he was having engine failure and that he did not know what to do, the medical examiner stated.
This was not his first solo flight, according to the medical examiner.
The Chabad Jewish Center of Waukesha County released a statement following Perelman's death on Monday. It said in part:
"Daniel was full of energy and curiosity, a gentle soul, and beloved by all who knew him. He leaves behind his parents, sister, grandparents, aunts uncles, classmates, friends and all those who knew him and loved him. In the Jewish tradition, remembering a loved one or friend is not a passive endeavor. Instead, to truly remember is to incorporate a behavior, a positive trait or action into our lives, thereby memorializing the life and contributions of the one we loved."
Rabbi Levi Brook, Chabad of Waukesha, and Perelman's family, have established the Deeds for Daniel Memorial Drive. The drive encourages people to take on a positive deed of goodness and kindness.
According to Brookfield Academy, Perelman received multiple academic distinctions, including being named a National Merit Finalist, Presidential Scholar nominee, and earning a perfect ACT score. Brookfield Academy says he attended the school from first grade through his graduation in 2021.
“Daniel Perelman was an insatiable student," Dr. Dan Davis, head of the Upper School, said in a statement Monday. "He loved academic challenges and routinely took our most difficult courses and excelled. He was also well-liked, a true gentleman, courteous and caring in his interactions with others.”
WATCH: New video shows man trying to save downed pilot in Wauwatosa
The Wauwatosa Fire Department first reported the plane crashed at 103rd and Courtland. Police confirmed Friday the pilot is a flying student.
Police Chief James MacGillis said during a press briefing that the single occupant was brought to the hospital with critical injuries. No other injuries were reported.
WATCH: Chief releases more details about the crash
Crews extricated the man from the wrecked plane and brought him to the hospital.
The chief said that the pilot was taking off from Timmerman Airport at Appleton and 91st before the plane crashed.
Wauwatosa police is the lead agency for the investigation, assisted by local agencies.
WATCH: This is the plane that crashed into the yard
Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport officials tell us they are aware of a small private plane that made an "off airport landing" in that area. They add that nearby Timmerman Airport closed to arriving and departing aircraft. But the small airport has since reopened following an inspection of the airfield.
The Federal Aviation Administration reports the crashed small plane is aCessna 152registered to Spring City Aviation East in Oconomowoc. That is a flight school company.
Radio traffic between the pilot and Timmerman Airport reveal mechanical trouble prior to the crash. At about 2:55 p.m. the pilot radios the tower: “Reporting engine failure. It’s not working.”
There's some cross-talk followed by this from the pilot: “I don’t know what to do.”
WATCH: Video from the scene of the crash
The plane landed in Rashad Hicks' backyard as he was preparing to mow his lawn.
“My wife looked out the window and said ‘It’s a plane in the backyard.’ I kind of didn’t believe that. It was kind of far-fetched until I went outside and it was a plane in the backyard," he said.
Other residents saw people springing into action.
“I heard a plane, silence for a few seconds and a large thud," said Alex Ann Davis.
“They pulled the pilot out from under the aircraft, put him on a stretcher and took him away," Bob Dietlmeier added.
By 7:30 p.m., police say the area of 103rd and Courtland had reopened.
Rashad Hicks was getting ready to mow his lawn when a plane came crashing into his back yard. He could’ve been home when the plane came down. pic.twitter.com/dFZHfjnmAP— Tony Atkins (@TonyAtkinsTV) May 26, 2022
From Tosa Police Chief Macgillis: single occupant in plane, believed to be 18 y/o male. Still determining who person is. He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. Indication of distress before plane went down. Police believe he was taking off. @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/wPMe6HAPZf— Bruce Harrison (@BruceHarrisonTV) May 26, 2022
Editors note: An earlier version of this story stated this was the pilot's first solo flight. The medical examiner has since issued an update correcting that statement.
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